Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Ron Alabanza

Second Advisor

Eric Kniss

Third Advisor

Scott Jost

Degree Award Date

Spring 5-2024


Wild West, American West, American Culture, Country Music, Western Aesthetics, Old Western Film Posters, History of the West, Marketing, Design, Western Design


American Art and Architecture | Graphic Design | Illustration | Other Music | United States History


Isabelle Bauer’s Honors Project, “Researching and Designing Marketing Materials for Rachel Messer and Connor Dale” is split into two components. First, the research paper titled "The American West as a Cultural Phenomenon" explores the fascination with the American West and its integration into various aspects of American culture, particularly in music, film, and art. The essay discusses the historical significance of the West and its transformation into a cultural obsession. Focusing on the resurgence of Western aesthetics in modern country music, the project’s second component involves the creation of marketing materials for country artists Rachel Messer and Connor Dale.

The research component examines the historical context of the American West, from the European settlers' perception of it as a wild and alluring frontier to the conflicts with Native Americans and the development of the infamous cowboy figure. The evolution of Western media is explored, highlighting its impact on shaping the Wild West narrative. The project discusses the contemporary revival of Western elements of American culture, notably, in the resurgence of traditional country music.

The second component of the project displays a practical application of the research. This involves the design of marketing materials for Rachel Messer and Connor Dale, who embody a Western aesthetic with a 70's flair. Drawing inspiration from iconic Western artists such as Frederic Remington and analyzing Western film posters, Bauer aims to infuse a gritty and authentic feel into the marketing materials. The research-driven design process includes using bold text, muted color palettes with vibrant accents, and graphic elements reminiscent of Western film posters.

Ultimately, the project seeks to capture the essence of the American West's cultural allure and translate it into contemporary marketing materials for country artists that embody a traditional sound. By examining historical contexts and gathering inspiration from Western style aesthetics, this project contributes to a deeper understanding of how the American West continues to captivate and influence cultural and artistic expressions in the 21st century.

Force Open Access